Midwest Genealogy Center Building

The Midwest Genealogy Center opened in June 2008. The largest free-standing public genealogy library in the United States boasts 52,000 square feet of resources for family history researchers.

Brick Wall Discussion Group

Get together with others to share helpful information, network, and gather inspiration to help you continue your genealogy project.

Kansas City, Our Collective Memories

What we collect as individuals becomes a part of our collective legacy as a community. Join author Bruce Mathews as he shares what Kansas City citizens hold dear and what it says about them and our community.

Kansas City Women of Independent Minds

Meet the women who made Kansas City and Jackson County history. Follow local historian David W. Jackson on a journey through time from the early 1800s to present and discover Kansas City’s "herstory".

Genealogy Blogs

Records from the past

There are two types of records when it comes to genealogy— official and unofficial. Official records are records generated by a governmental agency such as birth records from a state or military service records from the national government. These records are usually available at a cost and are subject to various privacy laws. Unofficial records include these same types of records but are easier to access through databases and other websites and can be obtained at little to no cost.

Where Do You Search When Church Records or Courthouses Burned?

Every genealogy enthusiast will encounter this at some point; you need a record, but that record cannot be found because a church or a courthouse was damaged. All is not necessarily lost! First, determine if the rumors are true that a repository has actually been destroyed and/or damaged. If it turns out that a courthouse burned during the Civil War, there are still ways to access the lost information. You can look for alternative records, partial records, or records that were later reconstructed. After a disaster, there could have been a call to re-record county records.

What does the map say?

Maps can offer rich details about an ancestor. They can show where someone lived, what that land was like, and even show how much land they owned. This last type of map is called a plat map. Plat maps were created by towns, counties, or any type of office that maintained land. These entities would map out property boundaries and land ownership. Information such as this can be a boon to genealogists; you can find out if your ancestor owned land and who owned land around them.

Passport to Happiness

Summer is here, and all I am thinking about is vacation (and, of course, genealogy). My family vacations don’t take me to exotic places, but I do get to see lots of family and do some fun things. I began to wonder if my ancestors took vacations to faraway places or if they simply took their kids to visit their grandparents like me.

You Never Know What You Might Turnbo…

Genealogists love finding clues in unexpected resources. Silas Claiborne Turnbo’s short stories are one example of such a resource. Turnbo wrote around 800 stories documenting the history of the Ozarks in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. In addition to recording the area’s history, Turnbo included a wealth of genealogical information.

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